Does Eating Pizza Cause Acne?

Does Pizza Cause Acne?

School is just around the corner and this has been a popular question in my office this week. My mother always said it did, but does eating pizza really cause acne?

Yes, it does.

Eating simple carbohydrates such as white bread, bagels, and pizza can worsen acne. Simple carbohydrates are high-glycemic foods — they cause spikes in your blood sugar because the food is quickly digested then dumped into your blood stream. The resulting high blood sugar causes hormonal changes and inflammation that then triggers acne.

To tame your acne this school-year, change to a low-glycemic diet. Eat complex carbohydrates that are digested slowly avoiding sugar spikes and hormone changes. Here are three tips for an acne-busting diet:

  • Cut out high-glycemic foods such as blended coffee drinks, soft drinks, energy drinks, pasta, pastries, baguettes, watermelon, mangoes and potatoes.
  • Choose high fiber veggies such as asparagus, artichokes, bell peppers, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, leafy greens, lettuce, spinach, tomatoes and legumes such as black beans, chick peas, pinto beans, lentils and soy beans.  Eat low-glycemic fruits such as apples, berries, grapefruit, pears, plums and oranges.
  • Avoid processed flours. Instead eat 100% whole grains such as oats, barley, brown rice, millet, quinoa, wild rice, whole wheat pasta and bulgur.
Follow these tips and you be looking (and feeling) much better for your first co-ed dance this year.
Photo: tomek.pl, flickr

Can You Be Allergic To Your Swimming Pool?

Is is possible to be allergic to your pool?

Allergic to Swimming?

We’re in the dog days of August and summer continues to hold on. What better way is there to relax than in your nice, cool pool? Unless you’re allergic to it, of course.

I had a patient this summer who developed an itchy rash all over. He thought it might be due to his pool, but insisted that he kept it immaculately clean. Ironically, that might have been the trouble.

Some people are allergic to the shocking agent used for pools and hot tubs. Potassium peroxymonosulfate or PPMS is an oxidizing agent used to keep pools clean. A study showed that skin allergies to this chemical aren’t uncommon and that it tends to afflict men more than women.

As with my patient, treating the allergic reaction with topical steroids and changing the pool’s shocking agent can help. At least he wasn’t allergic to water.

Photo: Omar Edwardo

Why Do Sunburns Itch?

Have you ever had a sunburn? First it hurts. Then it itches. And itches. And itches.

Why is that?

Sunburn is caused by ultraviolet (UV) radiation damage to your skin. Too much UV damages your skin cell’s DNA, and your immune system responds by killing off the bad cells. Because UV radiation doesn’t penetrate (unlike X-rays for example), it damages only the surface layer of your skin. This outermost layer happens to be loaded with special nerve fibers called C-fibers which are responsible for itch.

Itch is a mechanism to protect us against insects and other minor injuries that aren’t significant enough to register as pain. It’s our skin’s way of saying; “Hey, there’s a bug on us, get it off!” Because the damage from sunburns happens in this same surface layer, these C-fiber nerves fire furiously until the skin is healed.

Here’s how to soothe sunburn itch:

  • Try a soothing lotion such as Eucerin Calming Lotion. You can even keep it in the refrigerator for a few hours before applying it for cool, soothing relief.
  • Lukewarm baths with colloidal oatmeal can also sooth and heal sunburned skin.
  • Many people also like aloe for its anti-inflammatory and soothing properties.
  • Avoid topical numbing sprays with “cane” in them. Allergies to these topical anesthetics is common, and the last thing you need is to add a raging allergic dermatitis to an already itchy sunburn — it’s an itch of Biblical proportion.

Photo: Kelly Sue, Flickr